Thursday, March 8, 2018

Subscribe

I am sending out monthly newsletters to those that subscribe on my website. In each one is an update of my work in progress, news, musings and even print offers. Please subscribe today. www.annmarietornabene.net

In the newsletter, I talk about a new series in process but I will add an image from the previous series here as I feel it is a transitional piece into the new one. Here is Peau d'Âne (Donkey Skin) which is my adaptation of the French fairy tale of the same name.



In modeling news, I can now include L'école nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris as one of the schools I pose for. I am certainly creating quite a long list of schools and ateliers and am happy and proud to be re-building my modeling career and reputation here. 

Thank you for reading!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Pour Nous Les Femmes

Bonjour,

Ce post sera en français parce qu'il s'agit d'un article qui a été écrit par un auteur, une photographe et un art thérapeute. L'article explique mon histoire et les origines de mon travail. Je vous invite à le lire.Merci beaucoup!

AnnMarie Tornabene - Ou la reparation de soi par la photographie quand le vilain petit canard devient cygne

Friday, January 26, 2018

Women, Feminism, Solidarity

I have hesitated creating this post for a few reasons. One, this blog has never really been about any political statements nor will they be after this but I felt it a necessary time to post it. Two, my opinion, especially now, is not really popular so perhaps, I will lose some friends along the way but I feel I must write this and can only hope this is understood in that, as with anything, there is no black and white. There is tonality. There is a scale of 1-10 with other numbers in between and women and men are far too complex to look at in extreme terms. However, this post is not really fact but more my opinion after living for almost 49 years and seeing things that have happened not only to me, but other women I know.

Feminism, according to the Oxford Dictionary definition: The advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

First off, we are not equal. We never will be. Women are the superior gender biologically. We can handle pain better - physically and emotionally, bear a child, be nurturers by nature, natural organizers, multi-taskers among other things. So why do we say equal all the time? It will never exist which is why man and woman are created and wired differently.

Putting aside the real political issues of equal pay and sexual harassment in the work place which are topics that have too many hands in the pot to solve easily, this post is about something different.

So let's put aside blaming men here and think about what women really mean by solidarity.

I wrote in the past about women judging and hurting each other based on their looks. A woman commented on Facebook about a photograph of me, that it would be beautiful if I didn't have the turkey neck.

Well, the judging aspect woman-to-woman gets uglier when it comes to spreading the terms "feminism" and "women's rights" around because, generally, when women talk about it, it's through their personal beliefs and rarely can take an objective or opposite view. 

Yes, women should have the right to work where they want, march where they want, and feel free to say what they want without getting persecuted for it but there is another side. Women have the rights to do anything including what many women feel are not in the popular belief system.

Women have the right to be stay-at-home moms. Some choose to.
Women have the right to be a housewife. Some choose to.
Women have the right NOT to vote. Some choose to.
Women have the right NOT to march in a protest. Some choose to.
Women have the right to NOT become politically involve, in general. 
Not ALL women feel they are feminists. 
And above all, Women ALSO need to take responsibility for THEIR words and actions and how that can also affect others. 

But these are things that anger and appall some women because, in their minds, it goes against the grain of what they are fighting for. There are millions of women out there from all over the, at least Western world that are fortunate enough to speak up and exercise their rights and we have our goals that we can achieve and the ability to live our lives to live the way WE choose. Those are still our rights, too. 

So the idea of women feeling free to say what they want without getting persecuted for it but then those women being bullied by those decisions is being done by other women....Wait.....that doesn't make sense, does it? 

Monday, November 20, 2017

In Time and the end of the year

Since I arrived in France over 2 years ago, I have been non-stop working on my art.  I created two unsuccessful series of work - unsuccessful meaning, they didn't make any sense to me in the end. There were some people that liked the pieces and I admit, I had a grand time creating them but after I looked them over carefully several times and over time, I realized they were not true to me at all and I had no idea what I was saying with them and a lot of the pieces were shit, plain and simple.

I went back to what I do "best" - deal with my inner "stuff" by creating fairy tale-type narratives and portraits. Hence, the 2 bodies of work "Rêves et Souvenirs" and "Ode to Pictoralists" came into being and as I was completing a piece that was blurring the lines of the 2 series, I said to myself that I wanted to take this into a color direction. I have always admired the work of Maggie Taylor with her whimsical Alice in Wonderland collages and other contemporaries that are also using digital collage in a creative manner, I, too wanted to try and go that direction.

However, adding color by a photographer that mainly worked exclusively in black and white (or at least mono-chromatically) has proved to be a huge challenge. If the color jumped out at me too much, I toned it down. And as much as I want a somewhat surreal look to the work, I don't want a Pop-Art feel to it at all. And as the work continues to be about my dreams, memories and emotions, none of them are in full saturated color. So, I can only hope that these work. I believe they do and I am pleased with them.

The link to my newly updated site: http://www.annmarietornabene.net/

So, here it is, almost the end of 2017 and as my life continues to settle here (amidst some stressful circumstances), I am very happy to say that my two constants have been my amazing husband and my ability to never stop creating art, whether bad or good. I am good with that.




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

digital collage and......

The other day, I met another American photographer in Paris. He lives in the US and is also a collector and purchased one of my prints. He told me that he was visiting with his wife so we met up for coffee and we talked a bit about photography, naturally, and technique/technology. He does some beautiful work using the photogravure process and I spoke about the resurgence of vintage processes and how it's almost become a competition again, much like the old film vs. digital argument that, I now admit, I lost at.

When I was in university, digital imagery was at the embryonic stage. I learned the first version of Adobe Photoshop and I remember that in this first course, after learning the basic tools and what the program could do, I raised an eyebrow and asked the professor, "But what do you do with this after? What do you print it from and on?" He showed me a laser printer, much like a copy machine you would find in an office and "coated" paper thinner than Xerox paper. It was crap. The printer printed crap.

I also saw the first digital cameras come to light. More crap. So for 10 years or so, I was steadfast in my belief that digital sucked and it had no place in the fine art world. I shot film and printed in the darkroom up until 2006.

Then I lost my darkroom space and the only thing I could do was shoot and develop film but scanning into my computer and printing digitally was my only option. I noted that my prints looked better than they did when I was in the darkroom. At this point, too, ink jet printers and papers rapidly improved to higher standards. Slowly, I moved away from film, mainly due to monetary problems. And then, I began using Photoshop for something more than cropping and correcting exposure...born was my first series of digital collage - The Divine Journey.

I loved working with layers and seeing the possibilities that I could create that were, in fact, better in the sense that I could spend more time focusing on the artistic aspect that wasn't the same as spending more time just printing. I could create a whole new world just a little bit easier. And soon after, digital collage became a way for me.  I have been able to create different types of tableaux -  Rêves et Souvenirs. I didn't have to necessarily try and find locations to shoot in (as I did for so many years) and.......and I was able to mimic certain techniques of old - Ode to Pictoralists

And here we go again - for the alternative/vintage process people, what I am doing is sacrilegious. What the galleries might say is that they are not handmade prints, so they are worth less...or worthless, depending on the gallery, I am guessing. And at a time, I would have agreed with everyone but as I spend countless hours upon hours shooting, going through thousands of my photographs for source material and then coming up with the ideas and right combinations of images, re-working sometimes one piece for a month or more, I think I can say confidently and maybe having to eat my old words, that the bottom line is, and should be the content of the piece, the mood, the expression. Whether it be with the use of an 8x10 camera with an old cracked lens and wet plates, a plastic Holga camera, a scanner and objects, or a digital camera and printer, it's the final image in the end. I am sure Alfred Steiglitz would agree if he lived in this day.

And perhaps my new project is a push in a more, dare I say, contemporary direction, so to speak but I will always think the romantic in me is here to stay to counterbalance.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Brooklyn - the movie and my life

I just finished watching the movie Brooklyn. It is about a young Irish girl in the 1940's that immigrates to New York. It's a seemingly "simple" tale where she finds her life - a job while she goes to college and finds and marries a good man. However, at the beginning, she finds it very hard moving to a new country and being homesick, especially as she reads letters from her older sister who lives with their mother. Soon, her sister dies unexpectedly from an illness and the girl temporarily goes back to Ireland to be with her mother. Soon, she is pressured to take her sister's place at home, at the workplace and she even starts a new romance. However, she realizes she needs and wants to go back to her life in New York and does. A happy ending....


This movie spoke to me on one major way. While my story is not quite the same, what it made me think about is the in-between that I am.

I never felt like an American and I certainly am not a Française. The phrase, "home is where the heart is" is what feels true to me and what I hold on to because that is certainly the case here. My husband is my heart and I feel at home here with him. But I have a grim thought. If he was to die before me, Goddess forbid, would I stay here or go back to America? I believe I would stay here because at that point, I would be settled here, plus, given that this would happen when I am old, it would be way too difficult and expensive to fly back to the US, find a place to live, etc.

But again, putting that aside, who am I? Do I need to identify with my country and upbringing? There are a few Sicilian-American traditions/ties I have just based on my maternal grandparents and sort of with my parents but the strong sense of family was not truly there after my grandparents passed away. I did all I could to distance myself from it all because of an otherwise toxic family environment. When I went back to New York in January after my mother passed, I looked at my childhood home and her things from a distance again. I visited restaurants and places that I frequented when living there and while I have fond memories, I only have few worth holding. There are a few people whom are there that I love which gives me some form of connection but it ends there. However, I never felt the sense of homesick because I never felt at home there. And while I was married to my ex-husband, it was similar. There was no sense of home.

Home is where the heart is. Indeed. I feel that now. I can only hope that in time, my idea of home expands to so much more.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Book sale!

I found a great pro-print lab in Paris that creates these cute petites livres de poches! The book contains some images from my recent works 2016-2017. I am selling them in limited quantity for 15€/$18 per book plus shipping from France. Please contact me with your order.